PDA

View Full Version : Development of a Chess Style



MichaelBaron
24-02-2007, 08:03 PM
It is quite common for chess-players to be classified as either "tactical" or "positional". However, I believe that these classifications are "relative" strong chessplayers are good (or at least reasonably good) at all faccets of the game. I have published a game in my blog today, where Tal completely outplayed Smyslov in the ENDGAME. And yet, Tal is recognized as a tactical player only. I can also think of a number of games where Smyslov (a well known endgame master) played beautiful deep combinations.

Thus, I feel that while the chess styles do exist, strong players are generally strong in all types of positions.

Kevin Bonham
24-02-2007, 09:19 PM
I second that. It is no longer possible for a player to rely on a single style since opening theory provides so many ways to get them into a position not compatible with it.

Actually it surprises me that the stylistic predelictions of today's strong players are as marked as they are in view of that. The way Kramnik nearly always chooses the clear move over the murky one, or the way Topalov is always throwing pawns up the board, for examples.

Denis_Jessop
26-02-2007, 09:25 PM
I second that. It is no longer possible for a player to rely on a single style since opening theory provides so many ways to get them into a position not compatible with it.

Actually it surprises me that the stylistic predelictions of today's strong players are as marked as they are in view of that. The way Kramnik nearly always chooses the clear move over the murky one, or the way Topalov is always throwing pawns up the board, for examples.

I don't think that it was ever the case that leading players were entirely positional or entirely tactical but rather that they were predominantly, or by preference, one or the other. After all Paul Morphy's combinative play captures the attention of many, yet, as Cecil Purdy (and others) pointed out Morphy's real strength lay in his appreciation of postional principles which other leading players did not appreciate at a time when it was fashionable to play an out-and-out combinative style.

But I am a bit puzzled by your opening remarks Kevin as I would have thought that all the research that has gone into opening theory in recent years would, if anything, allow a (top class) player more easily to manoeuvre into lines suiting his style. In other words, I don't see that opening theory research has made much difference.

DJ

qpawn
05-05-2007, 12:49 AM
My style of play is neither positional nor tactical. Instead, it is best described as stodgy, dull, boring, somniferous or negative.

Whatever the most boring move there is, good, brilliant or terrible, I will play it :D

There is more excitement watching a cow chew grass tahn in playing against me or playing through my games.

Yet, my methods are effective :D . I have bored one of my correspondence opponents to death!

bergil
05-05-2007, 05:49 AM
I have bored one of my correspondence opponents to death!And a few on here as well! :owned:

Spiny Norman
07-05-2007, 07:35 PM
I have published a game in my blog today, where Tal completely outplayed Smyslov in the ENDGAME. And yet, Tal is recognized as a tactical player only. I can also think of a number of games where Smyslov (a well known endgame master) played beautiful deep combinations.

My view of Tal is a little different. He was known for his tactical ability and was, perhaps, one of the very best ever in that regard ... but IMO it wasn't just about his ability to calculate, or even pattern recognition ... it was more about his predilection to whip up complications out of what often appeared to be a fairly "simple" position, or to deliberately choose unclear lines over clear ones, because they offered more tactical chances. Interested in what others think about that.

Regarding your observation that "strong players are generally strong in all types of positions" ... you're probably right ... but some players have a definite set of preferences (e.g. Fischer very often played Bc4 on the White side of a Sicilian). This seems to be more than just a deeper understanding of certain openings. Fischer never struck me as an overly tactical sort of player. The thing that struck me about him was that he almost always seemed to avoid unnecessary complications, and would steer the game into simpler positions where one or two smaller positional advantages would accrue to him. Again, interested what others think about that.

I think Fischer V Tal world championship match would have been a beauty when both were at their peak. In years gone by, the best comparison I could come up with to those two would be Capablanca V Alekhine (?).

Igor_Goldenberg
14-05-2007, 05:15 PM
I guess the difference in style would be better characterised by whether someone prefers balanced or unbalanced position.

ER
14-05-2007, 07:21 PM
.... it wasn't just about his ability to calculate, or even pattern recognition ... it was more about his predilection to whip up complications out of what often appeared to be a fairly "simple" position, or to deliberately choose unclear lines over clear ones, because they offered more tactical chances...

What a profound, revolutionary way of chess thinking! In itself the hypothesis provides a new colourful and thought provoking ground, unlike the (commonly) maximalistic approach to describing chess styles. Thanks Frosty!
Cheers and good luck!